KCK Library to sponsor popular author’s visit April 29

Eric Jerome Dickey to appear in KCK

Kansas City, Kan., Public Library will be the host for popular urban fiction author Eric Jerome Dickey as part of the tour for his latest book “Finding Gideon.”

The event will take place at 2:30 p.m. April 29 at the Reardon Convention Center at 5th and Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kan. Following a moderated question-and-answer session, Dickey will sign books. Books will be available for purchase and a limited number of free copies will be given away to the first to arrive. Doors will open at 1 p.m.

Those interested in attending are asked to register at ejdkckpl.eventbrite.com. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, though registration is required to attend. Doors will open an hour prior to the start of the event. One randomly selected registrant will win a complete set of Eric Jerome Dickey’s works. The winner must be registered and present at the event to win.

With 24 novels to his name, Eric Jerome Dickey is constantly praised for his finesse in blending heart-pounding scenes with sexy sub-plots. His books have frequently earned spots on the New York Times bestseller list and have been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work multiple years. He has been awarded the Best Contemporary Fiction and Author of the Year award at the 2006 African American Literary Award Show and he was nominated for Storyteller of the Year at the 2008 ESSENCE Literary Awards.

“Finding Gideon” is packed with pulse-driving action, forbidden rendezvous, and dark secrets. For readers who have begged for Gideon’s return, Dickey has some shocking revelations, but new readers will be able to pick up the storyline and run with the action right away—no binge reading necessary. Dickey’s new novel stirs up a whirlwind of sex and violence that spans the globe–and leaves no moral boundary uncrossed.

– Story from Kim Woolery, Kansas City, Kan., Public Library

KanCare expansion supporters tout new poll ahead of hearings

by Jim McLean, Kansas News Service

Advocates of expanding Medicaid in Kansas are trumpeting new poll numbers that show them gaining ground despite what appear to be long odds of success.

The poll, conducted in December just before the start of the 2017 legislative session, indicated that 82 percent of Kansas voters supported expanding KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, which commissioned the survey.

That marks an increase from the 62 percent of voters who said they favored expansion in a poll done last spring for the Kansas Hospital Association.

The timing of the release of the results wasn’t an accident. The House Health and Human Services Committee has scheduled three days of hearings on an expansion bill next week, starting Monday.

“This information can help shape the discussion in the coming hearings,” said Hilary Gee, Kansas government relations director for ACS CAN.

Expansion opponents say it’s too late for that discussion. With President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans poised to dismantle Obamacare, they say it would be foolish to press ahead.

“I don’t want to poison the well by saying that, but I think that it is,” said Rep. Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican who is chairman of the health committee. “Even if it passes, which I think it might, it can’t go anywhere.”

But after three years of battling just to get a vote on expansion, supporters aren’t about to give up now that changes in the makeup of the Legislature have strengthened their hand.

“Even with the uncertainty in D.C., it’s clear that the overwhelming majority of Kansans support expanding KanCare,” said David Jordan, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, noting that Republicans in Congress remain divided on how quickly to repeal Obamacare and what to put in its place.

The alliance is a coalition of advocacy and provider groups funded by several health foundations, some of which also provide funding to the Kansas News Service.

The expansion bill would extend KanCare coverage to between 100,000 and 150,000 low-income Kansans — mostly low-income adults — earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s a little more than $16,000 a year for an individual and $33,400 for a family of four.

Gee said that in addition to providing basic health care to more Kansans, expanding KanCare would be an important step in the battle against the leading cause of death in Kansas: cancer.

“Access to quality health care directly affects people’s ability to prevent, detect and survive cancer,” she said. “Too many cancer deaths are attributable to gaps in our system.”

Jim McLean is managing director of KCUR’s Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio and KMUW covering health, education and politics in Kansas. You can reach him on Twitter @jmcleanks. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to kcur.org.

See more at http://kcur.org/post/kancare-expansion-supporters-tout-new-poll-ahead-hearings

KCKCC athletes attain all-time high 3.23 GPA

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Student-athletes reached a new high academically at Kansas City Kansas Community College during the 2016 fall semester.

Athletes in the eight sports offered at KCKCC combined for a grade point average of 3.23, the highest overall GPA since academic records have been recorded.

Women’s volleyball (3.44) and men’s baseball (3.37) were the leaders followed by men’s basketball (3.24), women’s soccer (3.20), men’s soccer (3.16), softball (3.13), women’s basketball (3.07) and golf (2.88).

“This is the sixth consecutive semester that our student-athletes have had a grade point average of 3.0 or better,” KCKCC athletic director Tony Tompkins said. “I am extremely proud of our student- athletes and their commitment to academic success. Our student-athletes prove that they can have success athletically and in the classroom.

“Our department and coaching staffs are committed to being successful in the classroom and in competition. Our coaches do an amazing job. But it also extends to a campus-wide effort to serve our student-athletes. We are fortunate to have academic support from the KCKCC Faculty and Academic Advisers and our staff in the Learning Resource Center.”